Belfries of Belgium and France

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Belfries of Belgium and France
UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage belfries map.svg
Belfry locations
LocationBelgium; north of France
Includes56 belfries
CriteriaCultural: (ii), (iv)
Inscription1999 (23rd Session)

The Belfries of Belgium and France are a group of 56 historical buildings designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, in recognition of the civic (rather than church) belfries serving as an architectural manifestation of emerging civic independence from feudal and religious influences in the former County of Flanders (present-day French Flanders area of France and Flanders region of Belgium) and neighbouring areas which once were possessions of the House of Burgundy (in present-day Wallonia of Belgium).

The World Heritage Site was originally called the Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia, a 1999 UNESCO list of 32 towers in those two regions of Belgium. In 2005, the list was expanded and given its current name, recognizing the addition of 23 belfries from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy regions in the north-eastern tip of France, plus the belfry of Gembloux in Wallonia.

Despite the list being concerned with civic tower structures, it includes six Belgian church towers (note the "cathedral"s, "church"es and "basilica" in the list below) under the pretext that they had served as watchtowers or alarm bell towers.

Most of the structures in this list are towers projecting from larger buildings. However, a few are notably standalone, of which, a handful are rebuilt towers formerly connected to adjacent buildings. One notable omission may seem the tower of Brussels' Town Hall, but this is not an actual belfry. The original Belfry of Brussels was located next to the Church of St. Nicholas, until its collapse in 1714.[1] As a side note, Brussels' Town Hall is part of the Grand-Place World Heritage Site.

List of belfries[edit]

Name and location[2] Municipality Province (BE) /
Department (FR)
Region Country Year inscribed UNESCO ID[2]
Aalst belfry.jpg Schepenhuis, Aalst – Belfry and (Former) City Hall
50°56′19″N 4°02′19″E / 50.938678°N 4.038526°E / 50.938678; 4.038526
Aalst East Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-001
Antwerpen Groenplaats Peter Paul Rubens San Salvatorkerk.jpg Cathedral of Our Lady
51°13′14″N 4°24′02″E / 51.220468°N 4.400605°E / 51.220468; 4.400605
Antwerp Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-002
Antwerpen Stadhuis crop1 2006-05-28.jpg City Hall of Antwerp[a]
51°13′17″N 4°23′51″E / 51.221268°N 4.397624°E / 51.221268; 4.397624
Antwerp Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-003
Belfort Brugge.jpg Hallentoren belfry and halls of Bruges
51°12′30″N 3°13′29″E / 51.208197°N 3.224737°E / 51.208197; 3.224737
Bruges West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-004
Dendermonde town hall and belfry during golden hour (DSCF0501).jpg City Hall with Belfry of Dendermonde [nl]
51°01′52″N 4°05′55″E / 51.031134°N 4.098594°E / 51.031134; 4.098594
Dendermonde East Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-005
Belfry of Diksmuide (DSCF9585).jpg City Hall and Belfry of Diksmuide [nl]
51°02′01″N 2°51′52″E / 51.033716°N 2.864579°E / 51.033716; 2.864579
Diksmuide West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-006
Eeklo, monumentale toren naast stadhuis foto3 2011-10-03 12.52.JPG City Hall with Belfry of Eeklo
51°11′05″N 3°33′59″E / 51.184636°N 3.566344°E / 51.184636; 3.566344
Eeklo East Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-007
Belfry of Ghent (DSCF0247,DSCF0249).jpg Belfry, Cloth Hall and Mammelokker of Ghent
51°03′13″N 3°43′29″E / 51.053656°N 3.724762°E / 51.053656; 3.724762
Ghent East Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-008
Herentals Lakenhalle 02.JPG Former City Hall & Lakenhal (cloth hall) of Herentals
51°10′37″N 4°50′11″E / 51.176952°N 4.836261°E / 51.176952; 4.836261
Herentals Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-009
Ieper Lakenhal R02.jpg Cloth Hall and Belfry of Ypres
50°51′04″N 2°53′08″E / 50.851184°N 2.885451°E / 50.851184; 2.885451
Ypres West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-010
Grote Markt belfort - 11084 - onroerenderfgoed.jpg Belfry of Kortrijk
50°49′39″N 3°15′56″E / 50.827630°N 3.265595°E / 50.827630; 3.265595
Kortrijk West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-011
St. Peter's Church, Leuven (DSCF0898).jpg Belfry of St. Peter's Church and Tower
50°52′47″N 4°42′03″E / 50.879720°N 4.700785°E / 50.879720; 4.700785
Leuven Flemish Brabant Flanders Belgium 1999 943-012
10361 Stadhuis van Lier (2).jpg City Hall and Belfry Tower of Lier
51°07′52″N 4°34′12″E / 51.131173°N 4.569896°E / 51.131173; 4.569896
Lier Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-013
Old town hall and belfry of Lo (DSCF9552).jpg Town Hall with Belfry of Lo-Reninge
50°58′50″N 2°44′58″E / 50.980598°N 2.749339°E / 50.980598; 2.749339
Lo-Reninge West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-014
Mechelen City Hall 01.JPG Old Cloth Hall with Belfry (now part of the modern City Hall complex)[b]
51°01′41″N 4°28′53″E / 51.027948°N 4.481269°E / 51.027948; 4.481269
Mechelen Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-015
St-Rombouts vanop brouwerij Het Anker 02.JPG St. Rumbolds Tower of the Cathedral[c]
51°01′44″N 4°28′42″E / 51.028772°N 4.478210°E / 51.028772; 4.478210
Mechelen Antwerp Flanders Belgium 1999 943-016
Menen - Town hall and belfry 2.jpg City Hall and Adjacent Belfry of Menen [nl]
50°47′46″N 3°07′14″E / 50.796109°N 3.120626°E / 50.796109; 3.120626
Menen West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-017
Nieuwpoort Belfort 1201.jpg Stadshalle Grain Hall (Market Hall) with Belfry of Nieuwpoort
51°07′45″N 2°45′08″E / 51.129297°N 2.752118°E / 51.129297; 2.752118
Nieuwpoort West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-018
Stadhuis Oudenaarde 07.jpg Town Hall of with Belfry of Oudenaarde
50°50′38″N 3°36′14″E / 50.843835°N 3.603841°E / 50.843835; 3.603841
Oudenaarde East Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-019
Belfry of Roeselare (DSCF9975).jpg City Hall, Stadshalle (market hall), and Belfry of Roeselare
50°56′41″N 3°07′28″E / 50.944680°N 3.124362°E / 50.944680; 3.124362
Roeselare West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-020
Stadhuis met belfort, Sint-Truiden.jpg City Hall with Tower of Sint-Truiden [nl]
50°48′56″N 5°11′10″E / 50.815570°N 5.186119°E / 50.815570; 5.186119
Sint-Truiden Limburg Flanders Belgium 1999 943-021
Belfry of Tielt (DSCF0059).jpg Hallentoren belfry, Cloth Hall and Aldermen's Chamber [d]
51°00′02″N 3°19′37″E / 51.000471°N 3.327031°E / 51.000471; 3.327031
Tielt West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-022
Eglise Saint-Germain de Tirlemont 02.JPG St. Germanus Church [nl] with Stadstoren (City Tower)
50°48′21″N 4°56′20″E / 50.805921°N 4.939013°E / 50.805921; 4.939013
Tienen Flemish Brabant Flanders Belgium 1999 943-023
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Basiliek Tongeren.JPG Belfry of the Basilica of Our Lady with Stadstoren (City Tower)
50°46′51″N 5°27′52″E / 50.780857°N 5.464398°E / 50.780857; 5.464398
Tongeren Limburg Flanders Belgium 1999 943-024
Veurne, Belfort (oeg16700) en voormalig stadhuis (oeg16699) positie2 foto8 2013-05-11 15.11.jpg Landhuis ("country-house", former seat of the Viscounty of Veurne-Ambacht) and Belfry[e]
51°04′22″N 2°39′42″E / 51.072884°N 2.661568°E / 51.072884; 2.661568
Veurne West Flanders Flanders Belgium 1999 943-025
St-Leonarduskerk1.jpg St. Leonard's Church
50°50′00″N 5°06′11″E / 50.833318°N 5.103024°E / 50.833318; 5.103024
Zoutleeuw Flemish Brabant Flanders Belgium 1999 943-026
Belfry of Binche (DSCF7837-DSCF7844).jpg Belfry of the City Hall of Binche
50°24′39″N 4°09′56″E / 50.410750°N 4.165543°E / 50.410750; 4.165543
Binche Hainaut Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-027
Charleroi - Hôtel de Ville - Beffroi- 2017.jpg Belfry of the City Hall of Charleroi [nl]
50°24′45″N 4°26′38″E / 50.412537°N 4.443887°E / 50.412537; 4.443887
Charleroi Hainaut Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-028
Mons beffroi JPG01B.jpg Belfry of Mons
50°27′15″N 3°57′00″E / 50.454110°N 3.949976°E / 50.454110; 3.949976
Mons Hainaut Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-029
Namur Belfry 02.JPG Belfry of Namur
50°27′50″N 4°52′01″E / 50.463890°N 4.867062°E / 50.463890; 4.867062
Namur Namur Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-030
Thuin - beffroi - 2018-09-08 - 02.jpg Belfry of Thuin
50°20′23″N 4°17′15″E / 50.339637°N 4.287541°E / 50.339637; 4.287541
Thuin Hainaut Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-031
Tournai JPG02.jpg Belfry of Tournai
50°36′21″N 3°23′17″E / 50.605812°N 3.388005°E / 50.605812; 3.388005
Tournai Hainaut Wallonia Belgium 1999 943-032
Armentières, la mairie et le beffroi J1.jpg Belfry of the City Hall of Armentières
50°41′11″N 2°52′57″E / 50.68645°N 2.8824°E / 50.68645; 2.8824
Armentières Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-033
Bailleul Beffroi R01.jpg Belfry of the City Hall of Bailleul
50°44′23″N 2°44′04″E / 50.7397°N 2.7344°E / 50.7397; 2.7344
Bailleul Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-034
Bergues Beffroi 476.jpg Belfry of Bergues
50°58′05″N 2°25′58″E / 50.9680°N 2.4327°E / 50.9680; 2.4327
Bergues Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-035
Beffroi Cambrai 3.jpg Belfry of St. Martin's Church
50°10′27″N 3°13′56″E / 50.1742°N 3.232127°E / 50.1742; 3.232127
Cambrai Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-036
Comines (France) JPG02.jpg Belfry of the City Hall of Comines
50°45′55″N 3°00′26″E / 50.7653°N 3.0072°E / 50.7653; 3.0072
Comines Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-037
Beffroi de douai 2009.JPG Belfry of the City Hall of Douai
50°22′04″N 3°04′50″E / 50.3679°N 3.0805°E / 50.3679; 3.0805
Douai Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-038
Dunkerque dzwonnica 06.jpg Belfry of Dunkirk[f]
51°02′08″N 2°22′35″E / 51.0356°N 2.3763°E / 51.0356; 2.3763
Dunkirk Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-039
Dunkerque ratusz 8.jpg Belfry of the City Hall of Dunkirk[f]
51°02′15″N 2°22′36″E / 51.0376°N 2.3768°E / 51.0376; 2.3768
Dunkirk Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-040
Gravelines beffroi trois quarts.JPG Belfry of Gravelines
50°59′12″N 2°07′34″E / 50.9868°N 2.1261°E / 50.9868; 2.1261
Gravelines Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-041
Mobeye-ÉtéDesVilles-Lille-512.jpg Belfry of the City Hall of Lille
50°37′50″N 3°04′11″E / 50.6306°N 3.0698°E / 50.6306; 3.0698
Lille Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-042
Loos hotel de ville.jpg Belfry of the City Hall of Loos
50°36′54″N 3°00′53″E / 50.61507°N 3.01477°E / 50.61507; 3.01477
Loos Nord Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-043
Aire-sur-la-Lys Beffroi en2018.JPG Belfry of the City Hall of Aire-sur-la-Lys
50°38′19″N 2°23′47″E / 50.6385°N 2.3963°E / 50.6385; 2.3963
Aire-sur-la-Lys Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-044
0 Arras, place des Héros - Le beffroi et l'hôtel de ville (6).JPG Belfry of the City Hall of Arras
50°17′28″N 2°46′37″E / 50.2911°N 2.7770°E / 50.2911; 2.7770
Arras Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-045
Bethune beffroi 2.jpg Belfry of Béthune
50°31′52″N 2°38′21″E / 50.5310°N 2.6392°E / 50.5310; 2.6392
Béthune Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-046
Boulogne beffroi.jpg Belfry of the City Hall of Boulogne-sur-Mer
50°43′30″N 1°36′48″E / 50.7250°N 1.6132°E / 50.7250; 1.6132
Boulogne-sur-Mer Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-047
Calais hotel de ville face.jpg Belfry of the City Hall of Calais
50°57′10″N 1°51′15″E / 50.9529°N 1.8542°E / 50.9529; 1.8542
Calais Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-048
Hesdin 22-09-2008 18-53-44.JPG Belfry of the City Hall of Hesdin
50°22′23″N 2°02′11″E / 50.3730°N 2.0363°E / 50.3730; 2.0363
Hesdin Pas-de-Calais Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-049
Abbeville - Beffroi - Musée Boucher-de-Perthes - 24 rue Gontier Patin (1-2016) P1040208.jpg Belfry of Abbeville
50°06′26″N 1°49′58″E / 50.1073°N 1.8329°E / 50.1073; 1.8329
Abbeville Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-050
Amiens France Belfry-of-Amiens-01.jpg Belfry of Somme
49°53′44″N 2°17′46″E / 49.8955°N 2.2960°E / 49.8955; 2.2960
Amiens Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-051
Doullens - Le beffroi.JPG Belfry of the former Municipal Hall of Doullens
50°09′19″N 2°20′28″E / 50.1554°N 2.3410°E / 50.1554; 2.3410
Doullens Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-052
Lucheux beffroi (vu du Sud-Ouest) 1.jpg Belfry on the remaining City Gate of Lucheux
50°11′50″N 2°24′40″E / 50.1971°N 2.4112°E / 50.1971; 2.4112
Lucheux Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-053
Rue - Beffroi de Rue - 2 place du Général Leclerc (6-2016) P1030952cr.jpg Belfry of Rue
50°16′21″N 1°40′07″E / 50.2725°N 1.6687°E / 50.2725; 1.6687
Rue Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-054
Beffroi-de-Saint-Riquier-DSC 0283.jpg Belfry of Saint-Riquier
50°08′03″N 1°56′47″E / 50.1342°N 1.9464°E / 50.1342; 1.9464
Saint-Riquier Somme Hauts-de-France France 2005 943-055
Belfort, Gembloers.jpg Belfry of Gembloux
50°33′39″N 4°41′35″E / 50.560799°N 4.692968°E / 50.560799; 4.692968
Gembloux Namur Wallonia Belgium 2005 943-056

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Hôtel de Ville in Antwerpen (1564) is an excellent example of the transposition of Renaissance principles in the central risalith with superposed diminishing registers flanked by obelisks and scrollwork and finished with a pediment, reiterating the theme of the central belfry." – Hôtel de Ville is French for 'City Hall', Antwerpen is the native name of 'Antwerp' in Dutch."
  2. ^ UNESCO states, inappropriately in French: ID 943-015 Ancienne Halle avec Beffroi; in native Dutch language this is Oude [or: Voormalige] Halle met Belfort. This 14th-century Cloth Hall with never to its designed height built Belfry – both hardly ever used for the intended purposes – with more recent adjacent buildings, constitute the present-day City Hall.
  3. ^ UNESCO states, inappropriately in French: ID 943-016 Tour de Saint-Rombaut ; in native Dutch language this is Sint-Romboutstoren which is the main tower of the cathedral, once also used as a watchtower against fires.
  4. ^ The belfry is known as Hallentoren or Tower of the Halls, plural: of the two adjacent wings or halls, only one remains, hence Cloth Hall, singular.
  5. ^ The city centre's Landhuis (literally: 'country-house') was once the seat of the kasselrij or burggraafschap (viscounty) Veurne-Ambacht, serving the countryside; here as opposed to the adjacent Stadhuis (literally: 'city-house' though always meaning the City Hall) serving the city. The Landhuis later became the Court of Justice and recently a place for cultural purposes, e.g. exhibitions, dance acts, concerts, etc.
  6. ^ a b UNESCO states: ID 943-040 Beffroi de l'Hôtel de Ville, ID 943-039 Beffroi de l'église Saint-Eloi – further reading from other source: (in French) Monuments in Dunkirk


  1. ^ "Il y eut pourtant des projets de reconstruction aux siècles passés. Oh effroi! Bruxelles est sans beffroi!". Le Soir (in French). Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Belfries of Belgium and France". UNESCO. Retrieved 1 July 2021.

External links[edit]